The electron-beam welding process is well adapted to function in the environment of space. The Soviets were the first to demonstrate welding in space in the mid-1980's. Under the auspices of the International Space Welding Experiment (ISWE), an on-orbit test of a Ukrainian designed electron-beam welder (the Universal Hand Tool or 'UHT') is scheduled for October of 1997. The potential for sustained presence in space with the development of the international space station raises the possibility of the need for construction and repair in space. While welding is not scheduled to be used in the assembly of the space station, repair of damage from orbiting debris or meteorites is a potential need. Furthermore, safe and successful welding in the space environment may open new avenues for design and construction. The safety issue has been raised with regard to hot particle emissions (spatter) sometimes observed from the weld during operations. On earth the hot particles pose no particular hazard, but in space there exists the possibility for burn-through of the space suit which could be potentially lethal. Contamination of the payload bay by emitted particles could also be a problem.